Thursday, March 31, 2011

A bit of a treat

Each year, I like to treat myself in some way.  This year, I decided to join the Socks That Rock sock club.  Every 2 months, the club sends out a skein of hand-dyed superwash merino & nylon, and 2 patterns that you can choose from.  I had a few gauge problems with the first shipment, plus the colours are not ones I would usually pick, so a partly-completed sock is languishing on my coffee table.  I have been more focussed on knitting some hats, scarves and fingerless gloves in preparation for winter in colours that I liked.  However, the latest skein, received yesterday, is gorgeous.
 And here are the 2 patterns that take advantage of its beauty.
 Today at lunchtime, 2 classmates and I visited the local Salvation Army family store.  As well as a long lined black coat (cost $3.25), I bought these 3 small embroidered tablecloths for a total of $5.
I LOVE old embroidered linen.  This sort of thing is just not made anymore.  Mostly, these tablecloths are very small, far too small for a modern table, but I have some old furniture that they are perfect for.  I hate to see them discarded and unwanted in thrift shops.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Warning! Contains actual dyeing and stitching

Here's "Summer in Provence" in its raw state, tacked onto my bedroom wall.  I will attempt to complete it for Symposium, machines willing.

Between showers yesterday, I was able to get 6 metres of Blended fabric dyed - this has to be done outside and hung on the line to dry before I can wash it, so it quite weather-dependent.  I'm pleased with the results - you can see my new colour Coral in these pieces.  The darker red is Carmine Red, a Jacquard colour that I have a little left of. It wasn't too cold so the Turquoise didn't all wash out as it sometimes does.

Gratuitous cute animal shot of Frodo, Cressy and Seven all relaxing on my bed.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Summer in Provence

Back here, in mid November, I posted about dyeing fabric for a quilt called "Summer in Provence".  This was just before the quilts for Pike River miners' families took over my life (over 8,800 blocks to date - amazing, huh?).

Now that the National Quilting Symposium is only 3 weeks away and my Pfaff has ostensibly (but not actually) been repaired, I have decided to complete this as the quilt that I can show in the Tutors' exhibition.
Naturally, I am again having tension problems.  I have decided not to make the quilt as shown in the pattern, just put together the 9 squares.  This may, or may not, happen, depending on my machines.  I will try to keep calm, and hunt for the Janome cords and foot, although this machine was also giving me tension problems before I moved.

Before the Pfaff tension bombed out, I DID manage to do so stitching on the Rust Madonna that I made some time back.  I want to enter it in an exhibition at a local art gallery - previously, a friend had insisted strenuously that I not stitch it but now she is no longer on the scene, I will do as I please - which is what the piece needs.

Here's the Madonna plain and unadorned, just fused and with drawn features.

And here she is again, with some stitching that I think greatly improves her.  You may have to click on the photo to see it.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lazy Sunday afternoon

The poodles were relaxing......
..I was admiring my new, bright wool colours....I have already knitted a couple of things with the pink that I'll show you once they're completed, and I've started a hat in the purple.....
...I made that Kiwi favourite, Rice Bubble version has added hazelnuts...
..and I made calzone for my lunches this week..  Here's one before I sealed it up - I cooked onion, peppers, broccoli and mushrooms,  added some tinned asparagus and grated cheese.  
Here's the end results - they look like big Cornish pasties but have no meat, and the dough is my trusty bread recipe.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Home comforts

 While I move quite often, I haven't been in rented accommodation for many, many years.  This has been a  necessity in Invercargill, as I was unable to sell my Rangiora home.  It's been quite hard to settle into a place that is so much smaller than I'm used to, but I'm trying to make it feel like home.  Here's the view of the unit from the teeny tiny back yard. All the plants in pots are mine.
 Who's been sleeping in my bed?  Cressy makes herself comfortable in my bedroom so she can keep an eye on the cat, who spends most of the day there.
 Frodo, on the other hand, is a couch potato, and perfectly happy if he has a couch to lie on.   And roll over on.
 With limited space and so much packed away in boxes, and being at school full-time, I haven't been doing any dyeing-related crafts.  However, I have been knitting.  I'm whizzing up a selection of fingerless gloves and mitts - here's one I've made from brushed wool.  Yes, I've made the other one as well but I need that hand to hold the camera.
 The multi-coloured scarf is completed.  Now I'll make a hat to match.  I want to keep walking to school as long as the weather isn't TOO bad.  Currently, I'm averaging 5 km a day (just over 3 miles for the non-metric readers).   Invercargill, being the southern-most city of New Zealand, is prone to quite a bit of wind and also rain.

Here's the first hat I've completed since I've been here (which will be a month tomorrow).  Very dull colours for me, but it's just a utilitarian beanie.

Only 6 weeks now till the Quilting Symposium in Queenstown - I have a fair bit of work to do to get ready for that, so will need to use my time wisely.